I´ve booked appointments for various industries for a lot of years and I come to the conclusion that just because a sales person has a good appointment doesn´t necessarily mean that sales will soon follow. This became glaringly clear with a client of mine who was getting lot´s of terrific appointments but hadn´t actually closed any of them. Part of the frustration of being at this for so long is that I sometimes know too much about what works and what doesn´t. When this knowledge is then translated to the client they may or may not always be receptive to the notion that a cold calling campaign may not be working as well as expected. When that happens, I like to try to keep the sales person focused on a couple of key points.
1. Not closing an appointment isn´t a reflection of the salesperson´s abilities, nor is it necessarily a reflection of the cold callers. Keep in mind that when you hire someone to make cold calls, their only objective is to get the sales person´s foot in the door so that they can sell their product/service. It is not the job of the cold caller to actually close the sale unless the telemarketer is actually doing phone sales. So blaming a telemarketer for lack of sales is only counter-productive.
2. The prospect may be interested in meeting, getting a quote and purchasing services. But that doesn´t mean that they will purchase from you. You may have the best products in the world and offer the best sales presentation but that still doesn´t mean you´ll get the sale. Prospects buy because there is a need for your services but also a desire to do business with you. One without the other generally means no sale for you.
3. Knowing your target market and fine tuning as you go is great but too many changes in your marketing strategy early on in a campaign can kill your chances for success. Start with what you know works first and then expand as you go.
4. Don´t look for cold calling alone to save or invigorate your business. True business development comes from a variety of sources like advertising, direct mail, networking etc.
5. Updating notes in a cold calling campaign is an integral part of generating appointments. Good appointments are generated because the leads and information is gathered and nurtured before the appointment is set. If you´re setting the appointment from the gathered info then you´ll have a better chance for success.
Cold calling can be a definite asset to your marketing campaign but understanding the limits of a campaign can sometimes be the most invaluable use of a salesperson´s time.